Jewish Journal

REALITY CHECK! Which news site told you the truth about the murder in Israel today?

by Noga Gur-Arieh

November 13, 2013 | 12:30 pm

"An Israeli soldier died after he was stabbed multiple times in the neck Wednesday morning by a Palestinian youth on a bus at the central bus station in Afula." This horrifying story, as described on Times of Israel shocked my country today.
The news spread this morning, leaving Israelis shocked and confused. The 18 year-old Eden Atias, a Private in the IDF, enjoyed a long-awaited nap while riding the bus, and suddenly, he ceased from existing. He was brutally murdered by a terrorist who, due to the democratic law in Israel, was only arrested, and not executed, by the policemen who arrived at the scene.

This story was the big headline of the day, and appeared on every single Israeli news website, but when it comes to leading news websites abroad, this story is not of high importance and is therefore barely noticeable. The question is: why?

CNN released a short, informative statement, according to which "A Palestinian man stabbed an Israeli soldier Wednesday, killing him, the Israeli military said… The soldier was wearing his uniform and was headed to an army base when he was stabbed with a knife, the military said."

The story behind the coverage: CNN believes the story is not the whole truth and do not trust the news they heard. That is why they don't present the murder as a solid fact, but mention that it is only "according to the Israeli military." Furthermore, the Palestinian who killed Eden is a "man," and not a "terrorist," and it is mentioned that the soldier was "wearing his uniform." This navigates the reader into feeling sympathy for the murderer, who may be a weak Palestinian fighting for his freedom.

The BBC published a slightly longer article, also very informative and containing mostly quotes by Israeli sources. After describing the course of events, they added a reminder of the current situation of the "peace talks" between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, mentioning that "On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered a halt to controversial plans for the construction of 24,000 new homes at Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank."

The story behind the coverage: The BBC also doesn't fully trust the credibility of the event. They made sure they mentioned that the information was handed by the "Israeli police," which question its trustworthiness (researches show that people tend to trust private people rather than organizations.) Much like CNN, BBC also lead the reader into supporting the "young Palestinian," mentioning Netanyahu's "controversial plans" and thus implying the Palestinians are frustrated because of the Israelis.

The Guardian is no different, also causing sympathy for the "Palestinian youth" due to the political situation in the area, which hurts the Palestinians. They also mentioned that Eden was wearing his uniform, and also linked the story of the murder to the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks which are supposedly being held back because of the Israelis.  At CBS.com the story was not found.

These examples of the story's coverage teach us that when it comes to a story that does not match the Palestinians-are-David/Israel is Goliath narrative the foreign news strive for, it will be of little importance. Does it really matter if Eden was wearing his uniform? Does it really matter that Netanyahu is currently annoying Abbas? The answer is simple: IT DOES NOT.  An ignorance and truth-twisting in courtesy of foreign media only encourages future terrorists to strike again. An 18 year old boy was murdered for no reason by a terrorist, and this is a story that must be told. End of story.

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My name is Noga Gur-Arieh, and I’m an Israeli Journalist, currently studying for my B.A degree in Media and Political Science, at Tel Aviv University.

I am very socially...

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